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Round One, Night One. Summary: I Sucked At My Job.


Y’know what’s horrible?  How all the channels dedicated to one sport – the NHL Network, NBA, Golf, whatever – have those three minute infomercials instead of real ones.  Commercials suck enough to begin with, but at least play to my A.D.D. and dudeness by running some 30 second ads in which no image is on the screen for longer than two seconds, and most of the images are girls in bikinis with beer.

And each one is worse than the last.  As a commentor recently wrote: “Theahs no messin’ up yoah doah!”


Moving on.

Well done, Coyotes fans (um, the team too).

Soooo, I was at the Coyotes/Red Wings game, and had an absolute blast.

I was upper (upper) deck, but I continue to maintain that is one of the nicest arena’s in the league (not that anyone disagrees with me on that).   You can see the action from anywhere. 

Totally random thought to start the blog – I was struck by how nice the Wings uni’s are.  Turns out I’ve never seen them in person before, which is kinda sad, and that the simple red and white rocks the party that rocks the party.  Original six jersey’s rule, dude.  Toronto, Chi-town, Boston?  C’mon.  Those three are badass too. 

Like you, when Bryzgalov looked he had just put his head on a bat, spun, did a whippit, then tried to catch Holmstrom’s shot and missed – I couldn’t help but think the ‘Yotes were in deep, deep doodoo.  I mean, if your team leans on your Vezina-contending goalie to win, and said goalie lets in what might be – and I mean this – the worst goal scored in the NHL this year, you’re in a bit of a pickle.

"Deeaaaaammmmnnn, lookitthat assss!"

But let’s give the Coyotes the credit they’re more than due – as they have all year, they absolutely wouldn’t roll over and die.  They recouped from being down badly in shots (I think it was 25-8 or something at one point), slowly took over the game, and actually might have ended up ahead in scoring chances.

Their d-corps has scored a lot of goals all year, and yesterday was no different.  Every time I go to their games, I always leave thinking Keith Yandle is better than I did the time before.  He would’ve been my first star, for sure. (He reminds me of Alex Goligoski – I just wrote a piece on Alex for the next THN magazine, so peel your eyes, or whatever the expression is).

The crowd was absolutely amazing, and the game was great.  Fans were walking out of the building howling, happy and high-fiving.  After what they’ve endured here, the fans who’ve stayed true deserved last night.  It was pretty special.

And we learned one thing about my prognosticating – if I picked your team, you should be more mad at me than if I didn’t picked ‘em.  0-4 to start.  eeeeeyikes.


A thought about the Pens highlights – the Sens won, but scored a bunch of goals they certainly can’t count on getting most nights.  There was the one crazy bounce, then a couple goals from Chris Neil and Jarrrkkko Ruuuttttuu.  I’d put your life savings on the next game for Pittsburgh. 

Ooo, another thought: how about Craig Adams not scoring over the entire 82 game season, then fires a backhand harder than You Reading This can take a snapshot?  How can you score so little with a shot like that?  Dude must have zero offensive sense.

{UPDATE: not only do Sens fans exist, they’re F****D.  Your 2010 Sens Cup song, to the tune of HORRIBLE Black Eyed Peas music.  I literally recommend that you do not click that link.  It’s one of those things I had to pass on though, like I listened to it, so I’m putting it out there in case you hate yourself too.}


Why, Sharks?  Why do you keep doing this?  I really wanted to go to bat for you this year. 

Anyone actually watch the game and want to let me know what happened?  Did it feel like San Jose couldn’t skate with the kids, or was it something you’re not worried about seeing again? 

The Sharks need to bury about seven next game or the stick-squeezing pressure is gonna start coming down on Jumbo Joe sooner than it would anyone else in the league.


We walked into my buddy’s bar to pick up some people for the Coyotes game (we had about a dozen people last night), saw the Flyers were up 1-0, and I almost immediately regretted picking the Devils.  Yes, after one goal.

I picked with my head (Devils sported the leagues lowest goals allowed total, and defense matters in playoffs) instead of my heart (I think Philly is gonna win).  What I forgot, when using my head, is that everybody plays defense in the playoffs, so that stat isn’t that important.

There’d be nothing worse than flip-flopping, having the Devils pull it out, and being wrong twice in one series.  So I’ll rode the horse I rode in on.  But this one is a coin flip for me.


Now, excuse me while I go have a bowl of Aprin O’s and use Pepto Bismal for milk.



Your old school smile of the day:


31 Responses to “Round One, Night One. Summary: I Sucked At My Job.”
  1. ms.conduct says:

    I’m testing the theory with my AHL picks that playoff success if 50% goaltending and 50% everything else. So far so good. Of course, there’s less parity in the A since there’s no cap, but the veteran rule is a bit of an equalizer. But that does make it a little easier to make picks.

    Point being, in spite of his craptastic first goal, Bryz was huger than huge when it really really mattered.

    I’m wondering if last night was a wake-up call to the favorites in tonight’s games. Will we see the same kinds of upsets or will they take heed and come out like their lives depend on it the way Phoenix did.

    Another thing I pondered to Blake last night was, when was the last time the Wings faced this kind of adversity? Obviously, the Stanley Cup Finals against the Penguins was Big Boss-level adversity, but it was nothing like the absolute hurricane of insanity Phoenix threw at them. They weren’t just relentlessly in their faces, they were in their mamas, wives, and children’s faces, too.

  2. Beaton says:

    What happened with the rubber snakes, I only seen one on the highlights.

  3. Steve C. says:

    …saw the last half of the 3rd period when Verses extended coverage.
    Neither team seem to have a real advantage and then the Sharks bad luck kicked in. Throw it in front from the corner and bounce it in off Rob Blake’s skate with 50 seconds left.

  4. jtbourne says:

    I’m testing a theory where you’re 100% creepy with your goaltending fetish.

    As for the Wings, I don’t know or feel like researching their past playoff runs, but you don’t win multiple Cups without facing energetic teams and some crazy fans. I doubt they’ve flnched just yet, but I understand where you’re coming from. Maybe this Coyotes team is next-level type inspired.

    It almost seems they need the disrespect to be “them” at this point, as does their often uber-defensive fans. It’s bringing them all together, so heaven forbid someone picks them to win a series in the future!

  5. jtbourne says:

    Steve C – Too bad about the Avs cheesy winner. I can’t wait for some overtime games.

  6. Pat says:

    What? No fantasy league wrap-up?

    I want to read Healthy Scratcher re-hashing the nixed Tim Thomas/David Booth trade one more time……….

  7. mikeB says:

    Despite the highlights package 5 on 5 Ottawa was by far the better team and there are very few people that watched the game that will debate that point. MAF should have had 2 or 3, but Elliott should have had at least one or two of the Pens goals.

    Don’t put your life savings on it. Although it is Ottawa, and they are Pitt, the Pens best players (Sid 3a, Geno 2g1a) were by far their best players last night the Pens did end up losing. MAF needs to be better, but the D looked like the did all season. Ottawa’s ‘best’ players were not even close to the best Sens on the ice last night, that honor goes to Kelly, Neil, Ruuttu and Karlsson (who EVERYBODY should pick up in their keeper pools for next year). Alfie and Spezza (who won +70% of his draws) were not at their best.

    I still would pick Pitt to win game 2 though.

  8. Sherry says:

    Congrats to the Yotes for that gusty win (I was thikin’ about you Bourne – plus I can totally get behind the Coyotes)!

    My housemate is a Wings fan and even though I love her dearly, I have a hard time rooting for the Wings (for the myriad of obvious reasons), but I always make the effort, to *try* and talk myself into, *trying* to root for them. But damn, felt good for the Coyotes last night (I just couldn’t bring myselt to watch what I was sure was going to be a RW romp on the Yotes – especially after the Pens puked all over themselves, so that Yotes win somehow took some of the sting of the Pens loss away).

    Yikes, what a night in the playoffs last night, huh? Wonder if today will be as insteresting… And Friday has *got* to be better (for us Pens, and grumble, Wings fans. Oh f*#k it – go Coyotes!)!

  9. jtbourne says:

    Thanks MikeB – good overview of the game. Taken with the usual “MikeB is a massive Senators fan” grain of salt, I’ve got a better picture now!

    Worth mentioning – that unscreen, clean low blocker bomb from Derek Morris was nearly unstoppable, shot at that location that f***ing hard. Great googaly moogaly.

  10. karlooch says:

    The Yotes game was a blast last night. I have been to way too many quiet, half empty games at the ‘Job’ and it was nice to see a full house rocking the building. The Coyotes and the coaching staff must look up and see the rocking whiteout and be very proud of what they have accomplished in one season. AZ is full of transplants who love hockey…..its just that it was hard for everyone to get excited about paying $100+ to go watch a lackluster team lose 4-1 night after night. TGO was no doubt the best player ever but as a coach I think its safe to say he should keep his daily tee time and stay away from getting behind the bench. HOCKEY TOWN IS GOING DOWN

  11. jtbourne says:

    karlooch – yeah, they must be proud. You’re right about transplants – I can’t imagine how they ever thought Glendale was the right location for the team. Although I went in an RV last night with a DD and a bunch of guys. The game could’ve been in Flagstaff and I’d have had fun! Either way, winning will get that building packed like that. Lotta fun.

  12. mikeB says:

    My analysis is based on the last half of the game only. So there is that too. I had an exam during the first half.

  13. karlooch says:

    Agreed. The drive to Glendale blows. I grew up 5 minutes max to the old Met in MN (North Stars). Coyotes in 7.

  14. Sherry says:

    Oh and, love the BE Peas and that song is funny. But Friday night’s gonna be a *good* [Pens] night! Woo hoo…

  15. Liviu says:

    I watched the Sharks-Avs game and I think this is going to be a repeat of the last few years for the Sharks. CBC threw a few statistics out there about how San Jose’s goals per game drops dramatically as soon as it’s playoff time, and I don’t think this year will be any better. Thornton was nonexistant, Nabokov had a mediocre game, and despite the fact that Craig Anderson is the only reason the Avalanche won that game, I still think they will win the series. Their youth was showing, especially with taking a penalty less than a minute into the game, but they’re still dangerous.

  16. Nucksfan67 says:

    Is it just me or would the WHITEOUT in Phoenix look SO MUCH BETTER had the YOTES been wearing white??? Something about the red jerseys and the white crowd made it look funny, sorta like a Detroit home game.

  17. jtbourne says:

    Whole-heartedly agree. Thought the same thing yesterday. I’m still stuck on the fact that home teams should almost always wear white, anyways.

  18. Alix in SJ says:

    I was at the Sharks-Avs game and a long time season ticket holder, so I’ve had a front row seat so to speak of the last five seasons of playoff chokes.

    The Sharks came out strong and really took it to the Avs, but I had the suspicion (apparently borne out) that if they didn’t find success with it within the first 10 minutes, it was going to evaporate. I commented around that time that the best thing the Avs could do was be patient, weather the storm, and take the crowd out of it–and they did. I thought the Sharks really played well in the 1st, but the Avs adjusted during the intermission and started clogging up the neutral zone, which is the best way to thwart the Sharks. As Randy Hahn, Sharks TV pbp guy said at a STH session in March, the best way to beat the Sharks is to put them to sleep, and the Avs executed that perfectly. Liles’ goal–on the first power play awarded to the Avs in the game–took the wind out of the Sharks’ sails.

    The problem as I saw it was that they played a dump-and-chase game and weren’t doing the chase, something I have seen more times than I can count. One of two things would happen: either one of the Avs would get to the puck first, leaving the Sharks having to defend for the breakout, or they’d shoot it so hard same side it would do a complete half-loop around the boards and out the other side. Everything was on the perimeter, no passes or shots were going into the middle.

    Clowe’s goal in the 3rd was a total fluke, and support once again for the theory that no shot towards the goal is a bad play. The same thing can be said about Stewart’s game winner.

    The Sharks have been making this big deal about how this year is different, they have different guys, etc., but the fact is, they looked the same as they did last year against the Ducks and the year before against the Stars and the Wings and the Oilers…

    The best line all night, IMO, was the third line of Mitchell-Couture-Malhotra. Whether that was because they’re 1st-2nd line talent playing against a 3rd-4th line or because they actually did what needed to be done–retrieving pucks, going hard to the net, setting up the cycle–I’m not that good a hockey mind to figure out. But the Thornton and Pavelski line need to figure that out, and soon.

    I’m hoping McLellan will go back to the lines that he did to break them out of their six game losing streak in March. That was the best I’d seen them play in a long time, and I like having Thornton out of his comfort zone being forced to shoot more, Marleau playing with Malhotra and Pavelski (all three are very smart hybrid centers who can equally set-up or score) and Heatley being there for a very good Logan Couture and Devin Setoguchi to feed off of.

  19. ms.conduct says:

    110%, baby. Don’t underestimate me.

  20. SDC says:

    that Snickers commercial is easily one of the funniest ever. Great googly moogly.

  21. ms.conduct says:

    Oh, and after my obnoxious jab at the Sens yesterday, that actually was the more entertaining early game last night. The Sens were much better than I expected. I’m not exactly running out to get a Leclaire* jersey but I’ll choose that series over the other one going forward.

    *Excluded from goalie fetish. Eww.

  22. neil says:

    I posted on facebook today that Phoenix managed to “steal home ice advantage” from the wings. As my friend pointed out, that team gets no respect.
    Just saw that Michalek is out for the playoffs with a torn ACL. So that’s him and Kovy down for the year right? Continuing the theme of disrespecting teams with solid seasons… I don’t think the Sens can handle having two top-six wingers go down.

  23. Char says:

    Aw, poor Pascal. ;-)

  24. Madeleine says:

    Hahahahaha @ the Sens song. That was priceless!

  25. JC says:

    Great game in Phoenix last night. I’d never seen, or at least can’t remember seeing, Shane Doan play. Huge game and reminded me of Morrow with the Stars. Anyone want to join me and bid $1 million more than Reinsdorf to buy the Coyotes? Sounds like we don’t actually have to pay anything. Glendale will raise the money for our purchase, is willing to cover any financial losses, and I’m pretty sure as owners we’d have decent seats for the games. We could propose cool new rules, etc.

  26. jtbourne says:

    Love it JC. Let’s start a movement. #Y’knowWhat,We’llJustBuyThe’Yotes. No, too long. #We’llBuyTheYotes

    My first move is to propose Coyote fans are allowed to throw snakes on the ice, if a player catches it and strangles Matt Cooke with it.

  27. mikeB says:

    yeah, but he missed a portion of the season already. So although he will be missed, having Foligno & Winchester (mostly Foligno) play a few more minutes won’t bug me. Having Ryan Shannon take his place is another story.

    Don’t forget they are missing Kuba as well.
    2 top six and a top 4.

    The team is nothing if not resilient.

  28. Sherry says:

    I’ll buy [the Yotes] for a dollar! And I stand, screaming and waving like mad behind that whole snake idea. But good lord Bourne, lay offa Cooke already.

  29. Sherry says:

    How can CP2Devil just now be getting on the Versus-is-back train? Not only did Direct TV give me money off my sports package for 6 months (when I called an complained bitterly about not seeing even more games once the playoffs began), but lo and behold very soon after that, they got the deal done with Comcast. Hot damn!

    Now I can even get as much PBR viewing as I’d like (and strangely enough, I like a lot – check it out ladies, there is just *something* about some of those guys… Got into it from lingering on VS after hockey games when the PBR events came on). Not only that, but last weekend they had Jr bull riders on miniature bulls! Yes, they breed miniature bulls!

    But I digress…

  30. Sherry says:

    Oh and, the “bull atheletes” are awesome too. Current favorite is Chicken on a Chain.

  31. neil says:

    @mikeB yeah good point. it’ll be a great series to watch if the sens keep playing the way they did the other night.

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